Long-term Grayl Geopress Review
After 10 months of use, the Grayl Geopress has proved itself to be a reliable water purification bottle during our travels throughout northern Thailand. From mountain streams to hotel rooms, the Geopress has provided us with quick and easy access to clean water.
Capacity: 24 oz
Weight: 450 g
Main Materials: Polypropylene & ABS Plastic
Filtration: Ion Exchange
Time-to-Treat: ~28 seconds (avg)
Dimensions: 26.0 x 8.6 cm
Manufacturing Country: China / USA
Warranty: 10 Years
Length of Test: 1 Year.
Acquisition: Self Purchased.
Water Sources: Mountain streams, hotel bathroom sinks, and waterfall pools.
The Grayl Geopress is designed for:
It’s not designed for:
Main Materials: robustly designed with a beefy polypropylene exterior shell, a thick ABS plastic inner bottle, and oversized rubber grommets – the Grayl Geopress was built to survive the apocalypse and brush off 3 meter drops onto concrete with ease.
However, the Grayl Geopress’ overkill durability comes with a significant weight penalty. When empty, the bottle weighs a hefty 450 g (15.9 oz) and will weigh a bit more overtime as the filter retains water and particulates.
To our surprise, the bottle’s exterior shell is actually prone to collecting scratches. While the scratches are only cosmetic in nature, don’t expect the Grayl Geopress to age with grace.
Filtration: with a simple construction that features two main parts (the exterior shell and the inner bottle), the Grayl Geopress’ filtration method is intuitive and similar to a French Press.
To begin filtering, you first separate the inner bottle from the exterior shell to scoop up the dirty water. You then place the exterior shell on a relatively flat surface and press the inner bottle into it with a steady downwards force. As you press, the water will slowly seep through the filter and into the inner bottle. Once fully pressed, the water is ready and safe to drink.
While Grayl states that it only takes eight seconds to purify a full 24 oz of water, this claim is incredibly misleading. Eight second presses were the exception, not the rule. After the first few filtrations, the press-time increased exponentially. Within 20 presses, the time had already increased to over 21 seconds – near Grayl’s suggested replacement time.
Now after 200+ presses, that time has increased to 42 seconds for 24 oz of tap water.
Cross-Contamination: to mitigate dirty water from contaminating the bottle’s pour spout, the Grayl Geopress comes with a heavy-duty top cap that screws on tightly for a leak-free carry.
This feature is why we chose the Grayl Geopress over their Ultralight model. It makes it easier to drink from, lowers cross-contamination risk, and makes the whole system more functional as a stand-alone water bottle when traveling.
Water Quality: after drinking from the Grayl Geopress a couple hundred times from various sources, we’ve never gotten sick.
The Grayl Geopress does what it claims to do: it purifies clear water by removing 99.9% of bacteria, protozoa, viruses, micro-plastics, and heavy metals. As a bonus, the carbon filter even removes odors and tastes from water sources. However, while the water quality is excellent, the Grayl Geopress does suffer from one major usability con.
As the filter ages, it can become incredibly difficult to push down. So much so, that May was typically unable to fully filter her water on most attempts. Depending on your size and strength, the Grayl Geopress might not be worth the hassle as the press-action filtration is prone to excessive pressure build-up that acts as a strong counterforce.
(Grayl claims the filter can last up to 350 presses, before needing to be replaced – depending on water quality)
Looks wise, the Grayl Geopress has a rugged aesthetic that gives off an outdoorsy, “I live in the mountains,” type vibe – which we dig… to an extent.
For those wanting a more urban-friendly aesthetic, Grayl offers a blacked out bottle. For the more adventurous souls, seven funky di- and trichromatic colorways are available.
If you’re going on an extended backcountry pursuit while abroad, you’re likely better off with a lighter weight (but less convenient) option like the Aquamira Frontier Max. It’s a gravity filter that requires you to carry an additional water bottle, but the weight savings will be worth it for long distance treks.
For international travel, there’s also the option of combining a UV purifier like the time-tested Steripen (for urban use) with a filter like the Katadyn Befree (for outdoor use). While this combination has more moving parts, it’ll be much longer lasting and more versatile than the Grayl or Aquamira options – plus cheaper over the long run.
As another fully integrated solution (bottle + purifier), the Grayl Ultralight is another option for travelers. However, this bottle’s design has a strong potential for cross-contamination risk – it wouldn’t be our first choice for international travel and still isn’t ideal for extended backcountry use (too heavy).
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The Grayl Geopress is a solid option for international travelers that want a double-duty water bottle – one with a built-in water purification system. And unlike UV filters, the Geopress will remove particulates in the water – giving you the best drinking quality.
Outside of international travel, the Grayl Geopress is also the most convenient water purifier for day hikes and camping. Its easy-to-use and intuitive design allows for one of the best flow rates with little-to-no cross-contamination risk.
As long as you’re physically able to consistently push down the filter, the Grayl Geopress is a decent option for most recreational adventures and international travel situations.
Build quality is solid, although overkill. Filtration time is quick but consecutive uses increase the time-to-purification dramatically.
Extremely difficult to push down, but water quality is still good. Managed to get 200+ pushes out of one filter, but nowhere near the claimed 350.
The Geopress is still going strong. The new filter we’re using is also lasting longer and is much easier to push than our previous filter.
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